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Making Maple Syrup!


We're wrapping up our Sugaring season tonight. The weather is changing and the trees will soon be using all their sap to push buds out.

Our season really began a few weeks before the sap began to run. That's when we were busy setting up our equipment, cleaning buckets, and tapping trees. We set around 275 taps this year and collected the sap with buckets. We made a total of 44 gallons of pure Maple Syrup and had a great time.

Maple Syrup is a Vermont tradition and most every youngster remembers making his or her very own Maple Syrup over an open fire in a big kettle. That's called Kettle Syrup:

Quote:
Kettle Syrup - A traditional family method of boiling sap over an open fire produces what is known as Kettle Syrup. Sap is boiled in a large metal container hung over the fire while fresh sap is continually added until the desired volume of finished syrup is made, usually after many hours of boiling. Kettle syrup is much darker with a very strong flavor.

If you have a few Maple trees around you can make some kettle syrup yourself. It's easy to make and tastes great!

My Sugarbush has thousands of Maple trees in it so I purchased an older arch with two pans. It's 10'x3.5' and is a little large for the number of trees we tapped this year but allows us to grow into our Sugarbush.

Over the last couple of years we've been logging and thinning areas of the ranch to develop a Sugarbush:

Quote:
Sugarbush - A group of Sugar Maple trees growing in the same area and used to produce maple syrup or maple sugar. This might mean 2000 trees used for commercial syrup production, or might refer to the 5 trees you tap in your backyard

Working in the Sugarbush

Measuring snow so we can reach the buckets when the snow melts...

Tapping trees with alot of help from my friends

Sap buckets hung and waiting for the sap to begin to run

Storage Tank


The pans and firebox. Notice the flow of the sap through the pans as explained in the video.

Pans

The firebox

Boiling

The Sugar Shack

The Temperature test...Boiling plus 7!

The 'Sheeting' Test

The Hydrometer and Maple Syrup!

Filtering the Maple Syrup

Grading the Maple Syrup with a 2007 Maple Syrup Grading Kit

The fruit of alot of hard work!

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